This article was originally published at the Raken blog on April 21, 2016.
No one ever wants to go to court. But the construction industry is one that experiences a disproportionate amount of litigation either as defendants (clients claimed contracted work wasn’t done, wasn’t done correctly, was done too slowly, etc.) or as plaintiffs (clients didn’t pay them, clients will only pay under new and onerous conditions, etc.) There was a time when courts often did not look favorably upon construction firms. That has changed in more recent years, but that doesn’t mean that firms should not take litigation seriously. To prevail in court, preparation is key, and a big part of this are project daily reports and construction logs.
This doesn’t mean that daily logs should be prepared with an eye to eventually ending up in court. On the contrary, firms may find themselves penalized by courts who have reason to think that daily logs have been crafted to be trial friendly. But construction logs should be kept in a format where data is easy to read, understand, and access. And digital daily reporting makes such a report easier to produce than ever before. In the past, when hand writing or “hunt and peck” typewriting produced reports, the inclination with daily reports was only to provide detailed accounts when a problem was encountered that day. As a result, daily reports usually only included fairly basic information, such as brief daily weather and temperature descriptions, the number of people working that day, and perhaps a general description of equipment used and general conditions. A major reason that this type of reporting was discouraged was because of the amount of time needed to compose such reports, challenging under field conditions. Another was the physical size of these report files. As impressive as it looks on fictional courtroom dramas when attorneys slam boxes of files to the floor, how do you store and access such files in real life?
But digital daily reports created by software like Raken can create complete, accurate files with compelling information to help firms prevail in court. These digital files are easily shared among the many parties often involved in litigation cases, and specific information within these files can easily be accessed via key pad. No more rooting around through filing cabinets or those cardboard boxes only to discover that the information is not there. And Raken’s files can be stored online for up to ten years, safely and securely to help risk management in construction. So while the prospect of litigation will never be pleasant, digital technology like our Raken construction business software provides firms with a professional, accurate document that helps to increase the odds of winning their day in court.